A while ago our pastor at Hope Church Charlotte preached on praying for yourself. He taught on how to keep the prayers God-focused and Biblical. One of the things he taught was to pray for your platform. Not your platform shoes, but the platform from which you can spread the Word.
I am continually blessed by my platform-teaching, but I am also challenged by this platform. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to impact roughly 120 young lives each and every day. Not many people can say that. I get to interact with, and learn from, so many different personalities. What a gift! The challenge comes in two parts-remembering this blessing when things get tough and to act on this blessing.
I am the queen of getting caught up in the emotions of the moment. My level-headed husband has done a great job of reminding me to step back and breathe in these moments, but I do not always do this. I act on the emotions instead of acting as Christ instructs me to. For instance, if a kid says something out of line I am quick to shush him, but not as quick to figure out why he is acting out. There is always a reason for bad behavior, but remembering to discover that reason drops in importance as I try to race through everything on the day's agenda.
I also struggle to use my platform correctly. This kind of ties into the previous dilemma of acting in the moment. Instead of constantly showing these children they are loved, I become so focused on what needs to be accomplished that I forget they are still children. I think lots of teachers in this testing-focused field can attest to my "Arby's theory". A few years ago there were commercials where fans of Arby's had the symbol above their head whenever they were thinking of Arby's. This is how I fear our students are being viewed as, someone with something floating above their head. In their case that "something" is a number, or a test score. Too often this floating number clouds the blessing walking underneath.
I am working to make more of an effort to use my platform to show these children they are loved. I want these children to know that someone cares for them more than they will ever know. No, I cannot publicly spread the word of Jesus in my workplace due to the separation of church and state, BUT I can share Jesus through my actions. Through support, love, understanding, kindness, etc.
How do you use your platform?